Male friends of a hospital who raised money for the hospital by dressing up as female nurses have become disappointed as the hospital turned down a donation from them, claiming their behaviour was “highly-sexualised” and “demeaning”.
The men raised £2,500 in the event in Ludlow, Shropshire, which sees them dress up as female nurses and take to the streets with collection buckets.
The fundraising drive for Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust has been taking place without complaint for 30 years, raising around £90,000 in total.
Jan Ditheridge, chief executive of the trust, said she is not comfortable with how the event portrays medical staff and refused the donation.
In a letter to the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends, Ms Ditheridge and chair of the trust Mike Ridley, said: “The presentation of men dressed as female nurse sin a highly-sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession.”
He added: “The event has always run with the full knowledge and support of the hospital and primary care trust management with participation by NHS staff.
“The whole thing is a light-hearted fundraiser which has raised between £2,500 and £6,500 each year and so over that period of time it’s a very tidy sum.
Ms Ditheridge, chief executive of the trust said: “It isn’t okay to portray healthcare professionals in this way.
“We have previously asked that this doesn’t happen and therefore don’t think it’s right to accept any money associated with this activity.
“I’m sure the event was organised with the best intentions and we are sorry if it’s made people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
“Many people kindly and selflessly raise money for our organisation, and especially for our hospitals. We are eternally grateful for that.”